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The source of the Allier River is located in the Cévennes mountains in Moure de la Gardille at an altitude of 1503 metres. It rapidly leaves the department of Lozère to enter the Haute-Loire, in the south of the Auvergne region. Tracing their route between the basalt plateaus of the volcanic Velay area and the granite of the Margeride area, its turbulent waters have sculpted an extraordinary natural site: the Gorges of the Allier which is perfect for kayaking in Auvergne.
Rightly named the King of Fish, the Atlantic salmon still occupies the Allier River. To preserve this priceless heritage, the area is also the home of the largest salmon restocking farm in Europe: the National Wild Salmon Conservatory.
The river Allier forms a real natural frontier between the granite of the Margeride and the basalt flows of the volcanic Velay area, offering scenery as spectacular as it is varied. The Allier is home to a remarkable variety of fauna and flora. Therefore it is no surprise that the Massif Central Botanic Conservatory has chosen to establish itself nearby.
With its many Romanesque churches, it rare heritage of mural paintings, its delightful villages and its thousand-year old abbeys, the Upper Allier has been awarded the label of a ‘Land of Art and History'. The Gorges of the Allier are a paradise destination for active holidays and offer an ideal playground for adventurers and nature lovers: hiking and cycling, mountain biking, a tourist train, rafting, canoeing, swimming, and kayaking in Auvergne.
The Upper Allier can also boast being the birthplace of the famous General Lafayette who will always be remembered as the hero of American independence and a pioneer of Freedom. Lafayette’s extraordinary struggle for freedom and Human Rights has left an indelible mark on History.